27 Neth, 4713 – Iobaria, The Hoofwood
Before the party can make plans, a group of nine frost giant warriors attack the Hut with boulders and massive tree-clubs, certain that Baba Yaga has returned to inflict some calamity upon them. The Hut leaps into action and defends itself from the attack without any prompting from the characters. The battle is swift and vicious outside, but to all those watching inside, they feel very little in terms of shaking or impacts. After a few minutes, the battle is over and nine giants dead in the snow within the confines of a forest-lined clearing.
The PCs exit the Dancing Hut to inspect the carnage. Many of the bodies bear the marks of battle, deep cuts, blood, broken limbs and even some limbs missing. The Hut does not even show a scratch even though the party witnessed at least a dozen impacts by boulders and clubs slammed into the side of the Hut. Examining the nearby woods, and general natural signs, Svala makes a guess they are located in the Eastern part of Iobaria in what she says is the Hoofwood Forest. What little she knows of the legends of Artrosa is that it was located in the East and North from her homelands around Kridorn. She says they should head East until they find some landmarks or otherwise which can give them a clue as to their exact whereabouts and any information regarding Artrosa.
Although dressed for the weather, the party finds the travel slow as they no longer have their sleds from Irrisen. After roughly an hour of trudging through the snow they encounter a large hunting party of centaurs. One of the scouts cautiously approaches and introduces himself as Salkin and states he witnessed the party come out of the Dancing Hut after it destroyed a large band of frost giants. Although mistrust is high when word of Baba Yaga’s Hut is mentioned, the party is able to apply charm (through large amounts of Diplomacy and mead) and eventually win over the trust of the centaur group. They agree to lead the PCs to their camp so they can talk to their Chieftain, Korak Kaag
Not long after the groups depart together, the sun begins to set. Aiwendil senses this is much earlier in the day from what the group is accustom and makes an inquiry with the centaurs who state that this is typical for this time of year. When pressed, the centaurs relate that the date is 27 Neth. The party realizes that somehow not only has the Hut transported them across a vast distance, but across time as well. Alabaster mentions another possibility that time works differently inside the Hut than outside. Either way the party knows it is several months later than when they left. The group sets up camp for the night and there are no encounters.
Proceeding the next day, the party eventually arrives at the tribes main camp. With very few centaurs ever seeing a human, the party is met with much awe and wonder before they are ushered into the presence of the Cheiftain. Word has reached camp of the PCs arrival in the Hut prior to reaching the camp, leading Korak Kaag to be initially suspicious. He asks the party the typical “Who are you and why are you here in our lands?” type of questions. The party provides answers to all Kaag’s questions and even is able to impress him with some tales of their adventures to date and displays of skills. A feast is ordered in honor of the strange but welcome guests.
Naturally, the PCs ask for aid and information about Artrosa, and although accepting of their tales and allowing the PCs to make camp with them for the night, He is some what reluctant to send any warriors out with the PCs as he is concerned with the information that frost giants roam the area as well. He says he will give them an answer in the morning after conversing with the elders. The PCs are allowed to spend the night (under the watchful eye of three guards) in one of the centaurs’ tents to rest.
Several hours into the night, Hunter is standing watch at the tent flap when he notices several strange creatures appear in the darkness and begin to attack the camp. He rouses the party and they spring into action to defend the camp and themselves from a group of andrazku demons. The fighting is brutal and several centaurs are hurt but the carnage would have been much worse if not for the skill of the party who eventually kills off all the demons. When Korak Kaag sees that the party has defended his people he immediately declares any aid he can provide in their hunt for Artrosa. The remainder of the night is peaceful as the camp recuperates and recovers from the attack.
In the morning the PCs are summoned to the Chieftain’s tent where he gives them information regarding Artrosa to include some of the many legends and lore pertaining to the site. He also introduces the party to their guide for the journey, a young Rashalka scout by the name of Erdija